FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) publishes a monthly review of disciplinary actions taken against both firms and individuals. These disciplinary actions are useful tools to look for trends in violations and other sanctions. These trends can assist you in identifying weak areas in your Firm’s compliance programs or surveillance. Below is a list of a few recent actions related to unregistered offerings or private placements including links to learn more about each as well as key takeaways. Due diligence obligations in connection with private offerings- Torch Securities In summary, Torch Securities failed to establish and maintain WSPs reasonably designed to Read more about Private Placement Best Practices from FINRA Disciplinary Actions[…]
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) announced on June 2, 2022 that it ordered Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., to pay 15.2 million in restitution and interest to thousands of customers who purchased Class C mutual fund shares when Class A shares were available at a substantially lower cost. FINRA news releases are useful tools to look for trends in violations and other sanctions. These trends can assist you in identifying weak areas in your Firm’s compliance programs or surveillance. Below is a summary of the Merrill order, as well as key takeaways. Click here for the corresponding news Read more about Merrill Mutual Fund Enforcement Lessons Learned[…]
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) announced on May 4, 2022, that it fined two FINRA registered funding portals, a combined $1.75 million for failing to comply with securities laws and rules designed to protect investors in the crowdfunding space. These news releases are useful tools to look for trends in enforcement, violations, and other sanctions. These trends can assist you in identifying weak areas in your Firm’s compliance programs or surveillance. Below is a summary of the Wefunder and StartEngine matters, as well as key takeaways. Click here for the corresponding news release. Summary of Findings from Wefunder Enforcement: From Read more about Crowdfunding Enforcement Lessons Learned[…]
Citigroup Global Markets Inc. was recently censured and fined $350,000.00 ([PDF] FINRA Case #2019064316401) for failing to have a supervisory system to ensure statements were reviewed timely, as well as not ensuring they were receiving paper statements for accounts at custodians for which they did not have a direct feed. Although this particular incident was a BD fine, this information should be helpful for RIAs as well. An RIA should be conducting personal trade reviews as a part of their Code of Ethics. Considerations The review and supervision of outside brokerage accounts isn’t news; however, it’s important to take a Read more about Personal Trade Reviews[…]
Knowing firm requirements as set forth in the Investment Advisers Act is essential, and learning from the mistakes of others in this area can be a valuable and motivating tool for striving for compliance in the financial services industry. In an atmosphere where Chief Compliance Officers (CCO) are being added to disciplinary proceedings, learning and taking immediate corrective action is the name of the game. No longer is the firm the only name blasted across SEC complaints; regulators will ensure that individuals are equally held responsible. Read More…
Disciplinary actions are often the best way to answer questions such as “how did this happen” or “what can we do differently”. Recently, a member firm named Robinhood Financial LLC was fined $1.25 million for best execution violations. Their shortcomings can provide valuable takeaways to assist other firms in building and solidifying their compliance program.